Monday, January 12, 2009

Bloggers, Let Me Introduce....


It's good to have a new character around these parts and Ozcuz is him.

Last Thursday I returned to the 'rents' place, I guess I should refer to it as home but that doesn't feel appropriate for some reason, maybe because I know it's a temporary thing, to find a young and dynamic and Australian cousin of sorts present.

I suppose I didn't "find" him, for he was expected, but he was there anyway. And, while I'm talking about strict use of language and terminology I should point out that, in British terms, he's not a real cousin. Well, not one of mine anyway. In Sri Lankan terms he'd just fall into that nice open category, the one that contains anyone of roughly the same age and a randon distant connection, the one we call "cousin brother".

On my Dad's side of the family I have more cousin brothers than, well certainly than can fit in a average size Japanese car, which you'll understand is a hell of a lot. If I'm with them all I can usually recall their names with a high degree of accuracy. Seeing one face helps me to identify the next face, along the lines of "If that one is called..........(insert random Muslim name, usually with lots of Ks, Zs or Rz) then that other one next to him must be......(insert similar name with same letters but in a slightly different order)".

But, give me a solo cousin and I might struggle, hence overuse of the machang word, albeit with West London Blur type inflection.

On the other hand, the other side of the family I should say, all my cousins are known by name, face and intimate detail. It's weird, maybe aided by their lack of hijab and beard, but that's the way things are.

So Ozcuz, which I think may be a good title, is the son of my first cousin on my Mum's side. I think that gives him a genuine title like second cousin once removed but I remain unsure and quite disinterested. He's family and once you're in this family you never leave. Unless there's a divorce or you just don't like someone, or you live far away.

Either way, I'd never met him before, though in typical Sri Lankan fashion I knew every detail there is to know about him, his family and most of his friends. He's spending about two weeks in London before heading up North to one of those University places that I've read about. He's twenty one, but far more mature than I was at that age for sure, he may be a damn sight more mature than I am now come to think of it.

I turned up and could sense that, after a mere few hours, my Mum was driving him towards being the crazed psychokiller mass murderer he previously thought was just a film character.. Even though he's Australian and therefore a little bit backward, he's twenty one and here to see London, have some fun and do things that twenty one year olds do. Instead he's in a village that's on the outskirts of London and is more sleepy than a Sri Lankan father towards the end of a function.

On top of that he was being "parented" by my parents. I felt for Ozcuz, I really did.

The first thing that strikes any newcomer to the 'rents' place is the temperature. It's so bloody hot that there are days on which I nip over to Kew Gardens and take a stroll around one of its big greenhouses, in the summer while wearing the warmest winter clothes I can find, just to cool down a bit.

I'm used to this, which doesn't mean that I'm comfortable with it by any means, just that I've learnt to live with the situation. When it's minus ten degrees outside it's about forty three degrees inside and I deal with it by usually wearing beach type clothing in the house before changing into English winter clothing as I leave. I used to think that it was just because the 'rents are older and that they feel the cold more. Now I know that it's not the case, it's just that they're mad or something.

Poor Ozcuz looked like an extra in that episode of Friends, the one in which they had a party while the heating was stuck on full. He must have thought it was a one off and that the temperature will return to normal soon. I was happy to tell him that he was experiencing normal, that he should dress accordingly.

It was nice to have some dinner and talk to and listen to the chap. Getting to know a cousin whom I've never met before will be fun. We've been friends on the book for sometime but, as everyone knows, that doesn't mean shit in relation to real life. As we sat, ate and got to know each other I was aware of my Mum showing off to Ozcuz.

It's something that perplexes me for a number of reasons. One is that I'm a parent myself, not just any parent mind. I'm one who prides himself on being quite cool as parents go. Yet I want to get the balance right for all interested parties. I want to be cool, trendy and modern but not too much. I don't want my kids or their friends to look at me and see a wolf in sheep's clothing mutton dressed as lamb a parent trying that bit too hard to appear young.

Another reason is that my own parents are genuinely quite young and trendy anyway. Anyone who knows them will agree with me on that. They both, just in physical appearance, happen to look younger than their years. Then, on top of that, they dress young. You won't catch my Dad wearing baggy jeans hanging below his arse with his pants showing, nor will you see my Mum watching football in a Liverpool shirt and swearing at the TV. But they also don't prance about in clothes that make them look old.

Yet somehow my Mum, when faced with a nephew like Ozcuz, goes into a kind of "show off" mode. It's not enough for her to be content in how she is, she has to make out she's even more extreme in her youthfulness than she actually is and it doesn't sit right with me, when I see a big dose of youthfulness anyway.

I guess I haven't done a good job of explaining what's going on in my head here, perhaps a simile would do the trick; it's as if it's fine for her to watch Friends and enjoy it and be into it, just that it wouldn't be fine if she got into an argument with her fourteen year old granddaughter about whether Joey or Chandler had the better arse.

There, I think that sums it up. Poor Ozcuz had it all thrown at him over dinner and, to be fair, he handled it all very well. I felt for the chap though, give him a couple of weeks and he'll be far more used to it.

The dinner chat was over and Ozcuz retired to his bedroom, probably to sleep off the jetlag or something.

This morning, while checking out the Facebook happenings of the last twelve hours I saw that Ozcuz has a blog, one that he's started in order to document his travel experiences, an almost virgin blog, well one that had no comments on it. I steamed in and left the first comment and am now left with a burning issue.

Should I mention my little blog to him, perhaps link to his blog and therefore, as my good friend C says, close the circle?

Or am I better off telling you lot all about him as and when I choose and keeping things separate with little chance of him discovering the connection?



Anonymous said...

I suggest leaving your options open by commenting on his blog without revealing your identity. Welcoming him into the 'circle' would open your personal territory on the net to some poaching. I doubt you'd want anyone to let slip to K and A that their old man has a blog in which they feature quite prominently!

To me, anonymity will allow to provide the guy with insightful comments and the comfort that someone reads him without the hassle of having to identify yourself.

Darwin said...

I'd keep the cards close to my chest but only because I'm reluctant to go public just like that. If you're unsure, wait a bit and then see how you feel in a couple of weeks, you can always still do it if you still feel tempted to, but once you do open the door to reveal RD=BritCuz (TM -please credit Darwin with future use of this term), then the cat is out of the bag so to speak.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Anon - Yes, though I've since told him about my blog without giving him the actual name or address.

He doesn't seem that bothered though, almost as if he doesn;t realise that I am THE real RD. Can you believe it?

Darwin - You may be right. I'll be sure to give you the credit for BritCuz if used in the future.